By Esther Sun
The County of Santa Clara Public Health Department announced the first death from COVID-19 in Santa Clara County earlier today. The patient, a woman in her 60s with chronic health conditions, passed away this morning at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View after being hospitalized for several weeks due to a respiratory illness.
“This is a tragic development. The Public Health Department is taking necessary, carefully considered steps to slow down the spread of the disease and to protect those at greatest risk,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Health Officer and Public Health Department Director for Santa Clara County, in a press release on the Santa Clara County website. “We are facing a historic public health challenge and know this is a very difficult time. Our top priority continues to be protecting the health of our community.”
According to the press release, the patient was the first person in Santa Clara County to be confirmed as infected with the novel coronavirus without any known history of international travel or contact with a traveler. She was also the third confirmed case confirmed in the county on Friday, Feb. 28.
Santa Clara County currently has 37 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
The most recently updated County recommendations on community measures to take regarding COVID-19, published on the County website on Mar. 5, include “canceling or minimizing large in-person student activities, events, meetings and conferences” and “minimizing the number of [employees and students] working within arm’s length of one another.”
Health officials continue to emphasize the need for individuals and organizations to slow the spread of the virus by complying with County recommendations.